Ustrasana – Camel
ustra = camel
asana = seated pose
Translated literally from Sanskrit, Camel, is a journey. Taking you into your nervous system and exposing you to the emotions our nerves and sense organs can trigger. Ustrasana is an amazing way to open your heart; as it has the power to reset your responses and find equanimity when faced with emotional and physical challenge. This back-bending pose extends your spine and train your mind; so, use your breath to lift your chest as you reach for your ankles and commit to finding inner awareness. Because once you find the shape, you won’t be able to shy away from the transformations that lighten your practice on and off the mat.
It is best to come into Ustrasana from a high kneeling position:
1. Begin in with your hips over your knees and press the tops of your feet and shins into the mat to support your weight.
2. Place your palms on your lower back/sacrum and draw your elbows in to one another — tuck your tailbone under and lengthen your spine. Exhale and slowly lean back, rolling your shoulders back and expanding your chest.
3. Gently release your hands to the soles of your feet one at a time.
4. Your neck can stay in a neutral position or you can allow it to gently drop back. Push your hips forward so they are aligned over your knees and lift your chest toward the sky.
5. Stay in the pose for several breaths. To come out of the pose, bring your hands to your lower back, switch on your core, exhale and slowly rise.